‘Fiddler’ In The Age Of Pew And Syria

‘Tradition,’ immigration take on new relevance in fifth Broadway revival.

Special To The Jewish Week

There may be no more rousing and infectious song than “Tradition,” the opening number in “Fiddler on the  Roof,” the iconic musical about one man’s quixotic, ultimately doomed battle to keep the winds of political and social change from blowing away his beloved shtetl.

Hofesh Shechter, left, rehearsing with cast members at the New 42nd Street Studios.  Lindsay Hoffman/Jeffrey Richards Associates

Unlikely Steps To ‘The Nutcracker’

Two of Gelsey Kirkland’s dancers — one from an Israeli moshav, the other from Alaska — have choreographed ballet lives for themselves.

Culture Editor

This season in New York City, several productions of “The Nutcracker” ballet are being staged around town, with angels, toy soldiers, Spanish dancers and fanciful figures bringing the classic story to life. One production features a muscular and lithe Israeli in the role of the prince and a poised young Jewish woman from Alaska as the female lead, Marie, the little girl who dreams herself into other kingdoms.

Erez Ben-Zion Milatin: Indirect path to the stage. Igor Siggul/VAM Productions

Leaning On His Dancers

In his new work at BAM, Batsheva’s Ohad Naharin doesn’t separate his choreography from his troupe’s interpretation.

Culture Editor

Celebrating its 50th season, Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company returns to BAM next week to present “Sadeh 21,” along with a master class — already sold out — and a talk by the company’s artistic director, Ohad Naharin.

Batsheva Dance Company. Gadi Dagon

Cycle Of (Family) Life

A dysfunctional family is at center of Pilobolus dance troupe’s collaboration with Israeli fiction writer Etgar Keret.

Special To The Jewish Week

In their utter dependence and sheer vulnerability, children often keep dysfunctional families from spinning apart. But can children also provide the energy and drive to keep their family going? An acrobatic new dance by the modern dance company Pilobolus, “The Inconsistent Pedaler,” centers on a teenage girl whose family members lose all their energy and momentum as soon as she stops pedaling her stationary bicycle.

In “The Inconsistent Pedaler,” a mysterious stranger teaches a family’s teenage daughter to ride calmly. Robert Whitman

God In The African Dance Studio

Surprisingly, Jews seem over-represented in an art form that melds mind, body and spirit.

Special To The Jewish Week

‘Judaism is such an intellectual religion that people sometimes turn their backs on their bodies,” said modern dancer Anna Schon, who is Modern Orthodox. “It’s a religion of action, not just learning.”

Anna Schon in Reggie Wilson’s work “Moses(es).” Courtesy of Reggie Wilson Fist & Heel

A New Dimension In The Theater

Israel deaf-blind troupe, which has its U.S. premiere here next week, tells touching (and tasty) stories.
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s like no bakery you’ve ever seen.

Nalag’at actors knead dough in “Not by Bread Alone.” Courtesy of Nagal’at Theater

Finally Ready To Tackle Bach

Israeli-born choreographer Emanuel Gat takes on ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ in a new, evening-length work.

Staff Writer

The Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat has a theory about artistic creativity. Basically, there are two types of artists: one has a fairly clear vision of the work he wants to create before he begins, while the other has no idea at all. Instead, this latter type only uncovers something that already existed; he is merely a midwife, or as Gat puts it, a sort of scientist discovering hidden laws of nature that have existed all along.

Emanuel Gat, 42, below, said Bach’s music has been on his mind for two decades. Osnat Karsenanski

Building A Cultural Bridge In Washington Heights

Jewish and Dominican teens forming bonds over the Sosúa story.
Staff Writer

Four years ago, Victoria Neznansky was faced with a difficult task. She was the newly hired chief program officer at the YM & YWHA in Washington Heights, which serves a predominantly Dominican community. And it was her responsibility to find a way to attract families from the area’s Jewish population, which had been dwindling for decades — all without alienating the dominant population.

Teenagers perform “Sosúa: Dare to Dance Together,” created by the Tony Award-nominated composer and director Liz Swados.

The Choreography That Binds

Ohad Naharin’s relationship with the Alvin Ailey company goes back years. Now he’s helping the troupe’s new director ‘take the next step into the future.’

Staff Writer

In the 1970s, Ohad Naharin’s career as a dancer in Israel was just taking off when he left for America to be with his wife. Naharin was, at the time, one of Batsheva’s most promising dancers, doted on by Martha Graham, the iconic American choreographer who helped train many performers in the budding Israeli company. But then he met Mari Kajiwara, an American dancer with the Alvin Ailey company.

Naharin, now 59, is dedicating all the performances of “Minus 16” to his late wife and former Ailey dancer, Maji Kajiwara.

Two Jews Take On The Shakers

Playwright Alfred Uhry and choreographer Martha Clarke explore the devoutly Christian group in ‘Angel Reapers.’
Staff Writer

These days, a musical about a community where all members gather in the nude to sing and dance wouldn’t seem all that strange.  After all, “Hair” has been around for decades.

But if you heard that this community was devoutly Christian, took vows of celibacy, and actually flourished nearly 200 years ago, you might raise an eyebrow. Perhaps you’d raise the other one if you heard that both the creators of this show were Jews. 

Simple gifts: Clarke used elements of Shaker prayer in her choreography. Rob Strong
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